Logs:Smokey the Bear
Smokey the Bear
|Characters:||ST: Bishop Participants: Stasya|
|Summary:||Stasya pursues her right to bear arms.|
The Louisiana black bear, known as Ursus americanus luteolus, is not a native to Brechtel Park. For obvious reasons, the city of New Orleans takes umbrage at the possibility of dangerous beasts occupying the hundred-plus acres of nature set aside for human observation and recreation. It was awful enough, years ago, when people found a decapitated service goat, if there were bears, even relatively demure ones, hunting and endangering people..
Well, that is why the rumors of a bear -- a single, solitary bear -- in the park sound so ridiculous to any right-thinking sorts. A few reported sightings of a bear-like beast late at night have been written off as drunken hallucination or exaggeration, followed by some chastising questions about why these people were at the park late at night.
Yet for Stasya, someone she trusts has insisted he saw something, one night, while grazing. That the air grew hot and smelled like charcoal, and that a roar tickled all his prey instincts and sent him fleeing into the night with lightning's own speed, glimpsing nothing more than a big, black beast.
And so, ever the helper, Stasya finds herself within Brechtel Park. Her friend indicated he was grazing on the fourteen acres of lagoon when it happened, so if there's any place to begin her search, it's there.
It's with delicate, almost dancelike steps Stasya trods through the woods. Tracker she is not, but yet the Crimson Courtier is here, after hours and currently armed with apparently nothing more than a flashlight and whatever else she might have hidden in her bag of tricks. The night might be warm enough, but the heat seems to have concentrated around the changeling, heat almost physical as she peers at a tree. "Do bears climb trees?" Even as she asks the rhetorical, she shines the light up into the limbs JUST IN CASE.
Bears can, in fact, climb trees -- but probably not the slim-branched magnolia that Stasya is shining her light upon, its flowers as bright and lovely pink as the Changeling's own hair. Mind, it is an impressively large magnolia, with an abundance of flowers upon it, but still -- bear fat, branch thin.
Follow one of the winding walkways, though, and the ground begins to sink, to become stickier, squishier, the grass becoming marsh near the large twin lagoons. Here the loveliness of magnolia gives way to the sway of cypress, of maple, of sweet gum, gives way to reeds that come up taller than some children, lording over wide pools of brackish, algae-stained water looking sickly green in the dim lights.
This is, as far as Stasya can tell, the exact location where Kai was frightened. The moon is at her left, she can see the half-fallen tree idly mentioned, hear the thrum of insects.
This is the place. And she feels.. like she's being watched.
When there's no reflection off the eyes of wild fauna up that tree, Stasya and her beam of light dive deeper into the city's forest-y park. Trees are considered and the path in front as well as if she'd know what she's actually looking for, while steadily sweeping her flashlight this way and that. While she's not making a ton of noise, she's not exactly hiding either as that would defeat the point of trying to find something! As the little pink hairs rise on the back of her neck with the feeling of something watching, she pauses. The cypress roots are glanced at, but the fallen tree itself is what gets most of her attention. By instinct her hand turns the light off, but then she switched it back on almost immediately before giving another sweep.
The light falls upon a nightmare -- there once was a bear, but it has been hollowed out, until the only remnant of its old self is the silhouette. Standing upright, its front paws on the fallen-over tree, the creature looms enormous: near twice as tall as Stasya, wider than she is high, its eyes are red-black coals and its heavy, muscled flesh is knotted and burned, hairless in parts, the whole of it cracked and issuing thin streams of charcoal-scented smoke. Blood drips from a muzzle that stretches and elongates too far, stains claws that have grown spindly and long like clever fingers, serrated and cruel.
The bear-like creature snaps its jaws, and Stasya watches it swallow a fat bird whole, choking it down its gullet. She can see a faint gleam of fire-light from inside its throat, and feel the air around her heat.
But it does not attack. Instead, it stares at her. She surely has but moments to act first.
Act she does! The light isn't turned off, but tossed to the side. Stasya can see enough from Mr. Smokey. With her hands free, the changeling reaches for the stagnant water nearby. While it might not be her first choice, a little will and a little Wyrd and the water solidifies in a blade in her hands. "It's rude to eat my friends. Or try to." She's pretty sure the bear hasn't succeeded, at least not that she's heard about anyways. But they were spooked enough anyways.
The burnt-looking bear-monster stares at Stasya for a long moment, watching as she curiously reaches out toward the brackish water. When it swirls together and coalesces into a lethal blade, the algae gathered on its edge like verdigris, the bear makes a low, threatening noise, pushing down on the fallen tree and splitering it the rest of the way. It charges toward Stasya, and as it runs, the cracked, burnt skin glows red, and ignites into a furious blaze, filling the lagoon side with light and swiping at her with a claw.
It's been a while since Stasya's had a good fight, and the fiery little changeling has been itching for one. Hence the following up on a passing comment of 'something stalking' in the woods. The bear even makes the job easier by running towards her so she doesn't need to get her feet wet! The Wizened spins to the side as the beast gets closer, and when close enough, she darts out with the hardened water blade, a smirk of satisfaction as blade hits flesh... or whatever magrath's have instead of flesh.
The water sword struggles to pierce the thick, black-burnt hide of the Claimed bear, sizzling as it slides against the radiant aura of flame. The reeds have burnt and blackened underneath it, but thusfar, the soil and vegetation is damp enough to avoid a catastrophic fire -- though, God forbid, if Stasya flees into the trees..
And while she does wound it a little -- and sees that it bleeds actual blood, perhaps to her surprise! -- that joy is short-lived as the heavy paw comes around with bone-breaking force, those serrated claws scything through the protective qualities of her mantle and ripping her torso open in a messy spray of gore, pain flowing through her in hot waves. She stains the weeds red.
There's no polite way to put it. Stasya just got her ass HANDED TO HER. Maybe she should leave the fighting spirits to werewolves, but as the changeling bleeds (and bleeds and bleeds), she grunts and in a blink, she disappears as if she was never there, except for that little puddle of red left behind and a rapidly melting water sword.
The sword evaporates under the heated aura of the Claimed's fire, and then.. that fire fades. There's an irritated and inhuman(inbearan?) growl as its aggressor vanishes without being consumed, and the creature turns, slinking back off into the denser trees.The bear sightings are not rumors! But surely, it can't have been here long, if none of the werewolves have dealt with it. If Stasya wants her revenge, she'll need to move quickly..